Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Mall

A post by Luke

Often if there is nothing to do on a Saturday, or even a Sunday for that matter, many people find themselves sifting through racks of fresh smelling clothing, staring into walls of formed rubber and leather, trying on this and that, shouting across the wasteland of clothing to a friend saying “how does this look”. We dive head first into the sale bins, hoping to find that one item we just have to have, and for half the price. Often things start to get crowded and we revert into creatures of the wild, the glairing-tiled floors become our desert, the little pond where we throw away spare change our oasis, the hanging cloths on the wall, the vines of our jungle. We trade the economics of buy and sell for the animal instinct of survival of the fittest. You have seen them, lions gliding through the endless isles just waiting to pounce on the next biggest sale, devouring it, leaving little behind for the late coming scavengers. They cut in front just as the next cash was opening up. You glare at them with disgust but take no action for you are well aware of the politics of the food chain.

What makes us act this way at the mall? Why do we become beast like in our actions? Some of us are the lions stalking the next biggest deal, waiting for the red tag to go up as though it were a white flag of surrender, “I give up, I’m 30% off, I have no chance, I submit to your card of plastic.” We are so quick to buy up the latest trend, the hottest deal and all for what? I have been there; I have waited in the lines that seem endless. I have picked up the leisure pace of a gentle walk to a near run in order to make it to the store before it closes, because God save me it doesn’t open tomorrow until 9:00am. You laugh at this image now, but it’s the truth and most of us have all been there. So why do we do it? We do it for that brief moment of having something new that makes us feel so good inside. It is not a sin to go shopping and get a new dress, or CD, but it is if that is where we find our purpose and existence. Too many people find their salvation at the Mall, or so they think. Even many Christians like myself have substituted the new joyful feeling of Christ’s salvation for the crisp, clean feeling of a new pair of pants that will soon find its place at the bottom of our drawer next to that shirt we bought at the concert we attended three years ago at a youth retreat. I will be the first one to admit that I love to get something new, it makes me feel good and often times I show it off because I feel so superior. I just hope that next time I find myself in a mall I remember how funny it is to think about myself as a wild animal scavenging through the jungle looking for the next prey that will give my fill until I am hungry again.


Blogger blair said...

I find the mall over whelming at times. Perhaps because I grew up in a small town the mall was not something that I did everyday. I find them more frustrating than anything. I would much rather shop on the internet. I can do it from home, I can get exactly what I want, I don't have to put up with the chaos.

On a deeper note, consumerism might be sinful for more reasons than just the idolatry you are implying. We could be doing social injustices to the poor by squandering our resources. Conspicious consumption is a slap in the face to any who can't consume.

9:58 p.m., March 12, 2006  

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